Jeremey Catterton, artistic director of the fearless theater company Lamb Lays With Lion (LLwL), is moving to New York next week; he’s saying goodbye to Minnesota with a little song, a little dance, and a splash of menstrual blood.
Feminine Venom is one of the season’s funniest little shows: both funny-peculiar and funny-ha-ha. Catterton’s often adapted classic texts, but this time his inspiration isn’t anything as high-flown as Tennessee Williams or Anton Chekhov: it’s trashy novels and movies about women in prison. Feminine Venom is, as Catterton’s promotional text very accurately puts it, “a new LLwL performance featuring women as women in prison.”
|feminine venom, presented through april 9 at nick and eddie. for tickets ($5-$20 pay-what-you-feel) and information, see lamblayswithlion.org.|
Applying Catterton’s techniques of deconstruction and—both literal and conceptual—amplification to these campy texts is like putting frosting on frosting, or chasing a shot with a beer, or forming an E.L.O. cover band. In other words, it’s 200% awesome. Catterton is a practitioner of “theater of disruption,” but Feminine Venom is more theater and less disruption than previous LLwL shows I’ve seen—which only makes sense, because really, who would want to disrupt a hot topless makeout scene between two women standing in a kiddie pool in a bar while a woman on a ladder pours water over them?
Catterton, visible on stage as per LLwL custom, sits at a laptop curating a soundtrack for the hour-long pastiche, in which six women—including Daily Planet contributor Sheila Regan—fight, laugh, play, cry, and ultimately try to make a break for it. The translation of pulpy stories onto a DIY stage is the kind of thing commonly seen at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, but not with this much verve and style. The production steers into this material like a wronged wife barrelling the family Chevy into a tree with her husband in the passenger seat. Buckle your safety belt.